Jr. Predators invited to elite tournament - WSMV Channel 4

Jr. Predators invited to elite tournament

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Even with the NHL players locked out, hockey fans in Nashville still have a team to rally behind.

The Nashville "Junior" Predators are gearing up for a world championship tournament and need your support.

The Pee Wee League Predators are on the ice at Bridgestone Arena.

"We play a faster game," said Junior Predator forward Noah Volhoffer. "We try to beat teams with our speed and skill set, but we don't try to rough them up too much."

"I idolize Mike Fisher because he is not afraid to get in the corners," he added.

While their heroes are off the ice, these 12-year-olds are keeping a grueling schedule.

"Kids are playing anywhere from 40 to 75 games in a season, traveling to areas like Atlanta and farther north to Chicago and Detroit to get competitive hockey games," said Junior Predators coach Jamie Herrington.

The Junior Predators are skating their way to a repeat of last year's Pee Wee national championship. They're currently ranked 10th in the nation with a 7-3 record, which has led to an invitation to a prestigious tournament.

"It's a really big feather in the hat for Tennessee hockey to be able to compete in the Quebec International Tournament," said Herrington. "It's the world championship of Pee Wee hockey. They bring in 128 teams from across the world to compete."

NHL great Wayne Gretzky and long-time Predators like David Legwand once competed in this tournament. But it will take more than those sharp moves and goals to get them to Canada for the tournament.

"We've got a fundraiser going on and Big Kenny is going to perform," said Herrington. "Phil Vassar is performing. Sawyer Brown is going to be performing and we've got a comedy duo of Williams and Ree that will be putting on a show."

Predators fans don't put away the "Fang Fingers" just yet. Tomorrow's major leaguers need your support for more goals in Music City USA.

In addition to tomorrow night's event in Brentwood, the team has online auctions and a singer-songwriter event scheduled to raise money for the trip. Click here for information and a schedule of upcoming games.

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